#1 [短篇小说] 山居假日
A Mountain Holiday
When Li Yaming went to Sgt. Sanchez's office to ask for some supplies, he came across Sgt. Lopez. Sgt. Lopez, in her early 30's, was a mixed blood of a Mulatto father and Vietnamese mother and she looked a lot more Asian. Smiling to Li Yaming, she uttered a soft:" Hi!" with a smile.
For a moment Li Yaming’s mind went dizzy and he tumbled down a tunnel dark and long. When he finished his falling, he found himself in a secluded army base in the mountains of China's southwest.
It was early February but spring was already here. Small pink blossoms dotted the branches of a peach tree outside the window of the dorm he was staying in.
He was there visiting his girlfriend, an army O1 fresh from military academy. He was a graduate student of English literature in Beijing Normal University and had met her on a train for Chengdu. His girlfriend was on her way to report for duty as SIGINT analyst. Coming from a small mountain town in Sichuan, she was all different from the sophisticated college girls that Li Yaming met in his daily life. They struck up a conversation and time went fast before they realized that the train was pulling into Chengdu Station.
Hurriedly they exchanged addresses.
Li Yaming was fascinated by the army uniform RG was wearing. In his eyes young girls in uniform appeared smart and pretty. He asked RG if they could keep correspondence. He said he could help RG improve her English for graduate entrance examination. RG consented. She was thinking of getting into the PLA Foreign Languages University after serving three years at the base.
But soon their English by correspondence program turned into lengthy letters telling everything in each other’s life and the mutual craving they both had for the other. RG asked Yaming to visit her in winter vacation.
It was the first time that Yaming spent Spring Festival away from home. He lied to his mother that there was a seminar in Yunan University where he would have a presentation on a comparative study of Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu. His mother, a university professor of Chinese Literature, hated to see her son being away during Chinese New Year, but could not object to his academic development. “It’s OK,” she said, “Your Aunt Li’s daughter can keep me company. Come back quick and buy us some local delicacies.”
Yaming would be away for 9 days, four days on trains back and forth between Kunming and Beijing and five days to be with RG.
As instructed by RG’s letter, Yaming went to an army reception hostel after getting off in Kunming, where he met Captain Zhang, RG’s company commander. He was in town for business and would take Yaming to the base by a minibus fully loaded with groceries, pork, live chicken and kitchen supplies.
The #51 army base was four hours drive from the city proper. It was hidden among the lush green hills of the province,having only a Miao village as its neighbor. Li Yaming had never been in this part of China and he curiously stared at everthing outside the window of the bus as if he could videotape the scenery in his mind.
"Wanna smoke？”Captain Zhang handed over an Ashima.
"No, no, I do not smoke," Li Yaming said, an award smile on his face, as if not being able to smoke was a sin.
不不， 我不会， 李亚明尴尬地笑了笑， 好像不吸烟犯了什么大忌。
"So you are RG's boyfriend," Zhang puffed out rings of white smoke and commented. Without waiting for Yaming to say anything, he continued:" You are lucky to know such a pretty girl. She is now the backbone of our company's art entertainment team."
这么说你是RG的男朋友了， 张上尉吐出一串白烟圈， 说到。没等亚明说活， 他接着说：“你小子有福气， 弄了这么个漂亮妞。 她可是我们连的文艺骨干呢。”
"Really?" Li Yaming was surprised, for he never knew RG had any artistic talent.
“真的？” 李亚明完全没想到， 他从来不知道 RG 还有艺术细胞。
"Yea, She danced a peacock dance at the National Day party. Kinda funny though, she danced with her back to the audience."
“是啊， 她十一晚会表演了一个孔雀舞。 不过挺怪的， 她背对着大伙跳。”
"Maybe she was shy."
"Maybe. Who knows. She was pretty outgoing among us."
“可能。 谁知道呢。 她跟我们挺放得开的。
The bus squeaked into a halt in front of a restaurant as it drove into a small town. Standing against the door frame was a girl in Miao dress, its lower half dirty with mud. Seeing Captain Zhang, the girl smiled broadly and greeted him:" Brother Zhang, gone to Kunming again?"
女孩咧着大嘴跟张上尉笑着打招呼：“ 张大哥， 又去昆明啦？”
"Yea, to get some groceries."
"Are you now the head chef?" the girl joked.
"Of course not. Haven't been home for a month. Your sister in law was almost bored to death."
“哪能啊。 一个月没回家了， 你嫂子闷得慌。”
"This time you two must have had great fun."
"Nonsense. I had only one day. Have to bring this scholar to the base."
“瞎扯。 我就一天功夫。 这不，得接这位秀才回站里。”
The girl stared at Li Yaming with shameless boldness. Li looked away.
"Say, get us some food quick. We have to rush，”Captain Zhang shouted to the girl.
“诶，快给弄点吃的。 我们还得赶路呢，” 张上尉冲着女孩嚷。
They sat at a table outside the restaurant, drinking the tea the girl brought to them while waiting for their dishes. A truck speeded by and a puff of dust enveloped the table mercilessly.
After eating they went on their way. Before leaving Zhang squeezed the face of the Miao girl and said: “Sister, sorry have to go. Next time I’ll stay longer.”
吃完饭他们接着上路了， 走前张上尉拧了女孩脸蛋一吧， 说：“大妹子， 对不住了， 下次呆长点。”
The girl spat her saliva to the ground and said: “Who cares!”
Laughing Captain Zhang close the door of the bus.
张上尉哈哈大笑， 关上了车门。Laughing Captain Zhang closed the door of the bus.
When the bus drove into the army base it was already close to six o'clock in the afternoon. Getting off the bus, Captain Zhang shouted to PFC Little Liu: " Where is RG? Tell her her boyfrind is here!"
"She is not in. She is out learning driving with Da Wang."
"OK," Captain Zhang turned to Li Yaming, "I'll bring you to her dorm. Her roommate has gone home on leave."
Li Yaming follwed Zhang up a narrow stone stair case and came to a row of single-room house which was the second among four rows of such houses. Zhang opened an unlocked door and Li Yaming found himself in a room about the 20 square meters. At the inner corners were two single beds, one covered with plastic sheet. A night stand stood at the bedhead of each bed. Next to the other end of each bed was a three drawer desk and a chair. Next to the desk stood a bookshelve. Obviously, these are the official furniture.
On RG's side, Li Yaming noticed some books standing on her desk between book holders Under the glass on the table were some photos of her family and a photo of Li Yaming in front of his university. There was also a small electric stove on the desk, with a large iron mug coated with porcelin.
RG's bed was in a tidy condition with the quilt folded neatly like a piece of brick. On her nightstand there was a small desk lamp and a radio, the multiband radio popular in the market. A magazine, the Chinese counterpart of Reader's Digest that bore the same name, lay open on the nightstand.
"You better go to the bathroom to take a shower. I think RG will be back in any minute. The chawhall will open in ten minutes, " Captain Zhang, putting Li Yaming's suitcase on the floor, said.
"Thank, you." Li Yaming took out his towel, soap and toothbrush and toothpaste and went to the public bathroom of the base.
As he came back to the dorm, RG was already in the room. She was about to go to the chawhall to get food. "Are you tired?" she asked Li Yaming.
"It's OK. Shall I go to chawhall with you? Hard for you to take two person's food."
"No problem. I can use this big pot for the rice porridge and this big bowl for the steamed buns. You better wait for me here."
When RG was out. Li Yaming looked around the room. This one room dorm was about 20 or 25 square meters. There were two beds,two desks , two chairs,two bookshelves and two basin racks. The beds are double layered bunk beds, the upper part used for storing sundry stuff. On RG's desk, there was a desk lamp and some magazines. Li Yaming noticed an unfinished letter. He took it up. It was for him. In the past weeks Li Yaming had been getting letters from RG almost everyday, so it was no surprise to him that there was an unfinished letter to him even at the time of his arrival. He did not read it, for he was sure RG would tell him what she wanted to say in that letter.
RG came back with the rice soup, buns and two dishes in a box. She had some milk and they boiled the milk in a quick heating cup and put pieces of buns into it. Yummy, exclaimed Yaming.